Victoria Jessie hadn’t imagined studying culinary arts from a wheelchair when she signed up for classes at Helms College, but that’s exactly what happened. Victoria developed her love for culinary arts as a teenager spending time with her grandmother at farmers markets and in the kitchen, but never pursued it as a career until later in life when she felt a calling from God.
While riding down the road, Jessie saw the sign for Helms College and immediately knew that should be her next step. She left her job in customer service, enrolled and started culinary classes a few days later. Two months into her studies, Jessie suffered a stroke during class and lost function in her left side. Doctors told her it could be years before she regained function, but Jessie, from her wheelchair, was determined to graduate on time.
Victoria’s classmates rallied around her and showed unwavering support. Within six months, Victoria had regained all function, completed two quarters of doubled classes and maintained an excellent GPA. After graduation, Victoria was hired by the Waffle House Inc., and since has been promoted to restaurant management. Her future plans include returning to Helms College to obtain her associate degree.
Throughout her struggle, Victoria relied on her faith to guide her toward success even as others worried about her limits. “I heard them tell me I could not do it,” she said. “I just didn’t listen.”
Other Alumni Profiles
Our alumni have some amazing stories. Stories of hope, achievement and inspiration. Check out some of our featured profiles below and see why we are HC Proud: